Thursday, March 21, 2013

Crib Sheet Tutorial

Are you sick of boring crib sheets? Want a few custom sheets that are unique & add extra personality to the babies room? I get requests for crib sets (bumper, skirt, sheet quilt). I love making each one unique with the color scheme & theme the Mom is dreaming up in her head & I love bringing it to life. I love making crib/toddler bed sheets. Of course, I didn’t make them for my boys because I was in the trenches of motherhood & didn’t come up for air very often. But now that I have my business, lil’ alice, I can make beautiful sheets for new momma’s looking to personalize their sweet babies crib. So let’s get started. Supplies needed: 2 yards of fabric (45 inches wide) 2 yards of elastic (5/8 or 1/2) matching thread serger or sewing machine 8×8 square (cut out of paper or card stock) cut each corner of the 2 yards with the 8×8 square. with one corner fold the just cut edges together & pin & sew (with sewing machine or serger). repeat on all the corners. if you have a serger, serge around all four edges of the 2 yards. if you have a machine, fold over the raw edges and press. once you have serged the edges or folded the raw edges, fold a pocket a little bigger than the elastic, & press. sew all four edges, leaving 1.5 inch opening to feed the elastic through. place a safety pin on your elastic to feed through the pocket of the sheet. use a straight pin to hold the end of the elastic close to the opening. this is so you don’t loose the elastic in the pocket. once the elastic is through the pocket, securely sew the elastic ends together several times with a zig zag stitch, & sew the opening closed. stretch the elastic until evenly dispersed through the pocket. ready for baby to sleep on.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Schools In Session!

Summer is over and my feet are firmly planted in the WF/GF diet. I am not going back to feeding Zakkery gluten & wheat. I have seen the difference that it has made in him. I'm a believer in this diet, for my kid!

Mid August Zakkery had a check up with Dr. B. Zakkery didn't test for an allergy for wheat. Which from my understanding, the wheat is out of his system. It took 10 weeks for the wheat and toxins to be fully removed from his system. He also didn't test for PTSD. That meant everything he is eating is good for him! Dr. B. asked how his focus is. I told him I wouldn't have a clear reading on that until school starts back up. His next appointment is the end of September which is perfect timing. He's been a few weeks into school and Dr. B. will test him again to see how he is handling the stress of 4th grade. If he is handling the stress okay then Zakkery can have wheat product a week. That would be like 1 slice of pizza, or 1 cupcake etc. In the mean time I have been allowing that already because he is doing good, but I carefully observe how he reacts too it. For example, we were at a gluten fill restaurant, Bob Evans, and Zak wanted pancakes. He ate one pancake and then he was done. When he was gluten filled he could haul down 3 in no time. But he also had hot chocolate, so I'm not sure which made is stomach hurt.

4th grade is off to a great start. Having a child with an allergy is no walk in the park. I had a lot of prep work to do in order to get the staff & teachers on the same page with Zakkery. I sent in notes to the principal, and all the 4th grade teachers. They switch classes for different subjects so I wanted them to be aware of it too. Thankfully I found a website on line with a checklist and letters to send if your child has an allergy. I took that letter and just copied and pasted it and took some stuff out that was a little bit over the top! I also sent in the snack box. Zakkery can't have cupcakes. So for birthday's he has a box where he can choose a snack that he can eat. The teacher was kind enough to send it home and then I make the decision on if he can have it or not. It all depends on if he has had a wheat product that week.

In a previous post I wrote about how I wrote a letter to Zakkery's teachers from 3rd grade. I just wanted to make them aware of what we found out. During the first week of school, Mr. P., Zak's 3rd grade teacher made a comment about how he could see a difference in Zakkery. Keep in mind that this was the first week of school and he had only passed Zakkery in the hall on a few occasions. He said that Zakkery talked to him with energy and said "Hi!". I had a similar situation with a parent that is at the school all the time. She stopped talking and interacting with Zak because he was moody etc. Once I told her what was going on, she said, "I can't wait to meet the new Zak!" A few days later, she told me how she's been watching him interact and how she talked to him etc. Totally different kid.

Allow me to make it very clear that he isn't "perfect" just because he's clear of wheat. He still has his moments. I can handle the moments. The positive side of all this far outweighs the negatives.

I do know that my children will have some issue with me when they are older. Something will make them enter therapy, not sure what that will be. But what I don't want to hear from either of my child is, "Mom, you knew I was allergic to something but you didn't do anything about it." "Mom, you knew I was struggling in school, why didn't you help me?" "Mom, you had so many resources, why didn't you use them?"

All of those thoughts haunt me. I never want to hear those from the lips of my babes!

I want Zakkery to know that I fought for his well being and that I educated myself the best I knew how so that he could be healthy!

Monday, August 3, 2009


Life out of the wheat field is coasting along and normal speed. There don't seem to be any ups or downs going on at this particular time.

That could change in 5 minutes, though!

We are in a groove of food selections. They seem narrow and I hope to widen them once school starts and family dinners reappear on the daily schedule!

Zakkery's main dishes consist of the following:
Waffles, for breakfast. I have found cereal but he never was a cereal kid when he was in the wheat field!
Eggs, any meal. Wherever we are, someone always has an egg I can fry up!
Chicken Nuggets. We have found one that he likes. Ian's we tried but was not good. Found Applegate, Gluten Free and he loves them. I spotted them at Kroger and bought one box for $6.99. I can get them through a co-op food club for $5.69 or so!
Spaghetti. Tried corn noodles and those past his taste. I want to try rice because I think those will be better.
Popcorn, this is a great snack and a great filler. We have gone through 5 boxes (15 bags of popcorn) in a matter of a few weeks. Zak isn't much of a cracker or chip kid, never was. Popcorn seems to fill that void.
Chicken. I found a gluten free corn flake crumbs for coating chicken. I made that for our 1 family dinner last week. Everyone ate it and it was quite tasty.
Hamburgers. No buns. He just eats them with ketchup and it seems to work.

There are 2 ways to view food.
Eat to Live or Live to Eat!

I grew up Eat to Live. Food was never made the center of attention. I never got overly excited about food, ever!

As I see Zakkery go throughout his day and as I cater 3 meals a day to him, he doesn't get overly excited about the food. He does get excited when offered a brownie or cake, which is WF/GF. He likes a sweet once in a while, but he doesn't get it every single day. In the beginning of walking out of the wheat field, I caught myself offering him too many sweets to make up for the blah tasting entree had just tried to make him. I tossed a meal or two because it looked awful and I wouldn't even sample it. I knew if I couldn't sample it, I wasn't going to make him make a meal out of it!

Along with the main dishes I listed above, there are many side dishes available to him along with the fruit and veggies. Veggies are not a big hit with my kids. I don't sweat the small stuff to be honest. It's not an issue because I refuse to make an issue out of food! They are boys, they will eventually eat me out of house and home and I will have crumbs to prove it.

It's August and school starts September 8th. I am looking forward to getting back into a routine and having meals planned. I'm looking forward to getting out of this groove.

Until then, I will continue to coast!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Few Facts

Here are a few facts that I know and have learned from Dr. B. and others in this profession.

40% of this current generation of children will have a wheat allergy.
20% of my generation has a wheat allergy.
0% of the generations before me.

Dr. B. stated this information from things he has read. He said that the rise is due to vaccines and antibiotics. I'm not against vaccines, my kids get them. When they got sick as a infants and toddlers, they got antibiotics. Would I do things differently now? With the antibiotics, I would, because I know more now. There are alternatives that I wasn't aware of at the time. I educate myself with Google. I read several different sources and compare information.

I even have a recipe from the internet for Japanese Beetles. Yes, I made it in my kitchen! That's another story. If you want the recipe, email me.

Back to the topic.

I attended the Muscle Testing Class, that was offered for FREE, at the chiropractic office.

" "Here is a video I found on the web that explains muscle testing.

Zakkery is still doing very well on the WF/GF diet and supplements. We are adjusting. I am constantly thinking about what he will be eating next. If we go somewhere, birthday party, for example, I have to take a few snacks and something for him to have in place of the birthday cake. The snacks are in case there isn't anything that he can eat that is served. I don't want to make a big deal to the hostess, but I want to be prepared.

So if you invite us over and I have a cooler of food, don't take it personal.

I am just prepared!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Check Up!

On July 9th, Zak had a check up with Dr. B. It was a brief check in with the doctor on how Zak has been doing with the diet change. I went back more educated on what Zak has and the new lifestyle change. Dr. B. talked to me and asked how we were doing and he was thrilled to find out that I was doing the WF/GF diet to the best of my ability. He did mention that Zak needed more fiber in his diet, so we are working that in through food. Not easy to say the least! He also explained to Zak & Jeremiah, he was with us this time, that his gut and organs are like our skin. When it gets hurt or scratched, it needs to heal. He explained that his gut is hurt and it needs to heal. In order to heal it, he can't eat wheat. When Zak is on a WF/GF diet, it cleans the toxins out and allows his organs to heal. He explained to the boys, it's like blowing your nose, you gotta get the junk out. He proceeded to explain in "all boy" humor that you can't just take a tissue and blow your bum! The boys got a giggle out of that one.

To Zak's delight, he did tell us that Zak could eventually eat wheat/gluten on a "special time" type basis. For example, if he goes to a birthday party, he could have a slice of cake. That time could come in a year or so, just depending on how his body heals internally. He will never be able to eat wheat or gluten all the time, every day, again! Just as a treat. Which I had to explain to Zakkery after Dr. B. said that. He ears picked up on a few choice words EAT WHEAT AGAIN, is what he heard.

Rich was unable to make the visit. I really thought it would have been beneficial for him to meet Dr. B. and to gain some extra insight. But he couldn't, so I took down any questions that he had for the doctor. His one question for Dr. B. was, "How much wheat can Zakkery have?" I answered the questions (NONE), but he wanted to hear it from the doctor, so I submitted and asked him. The doctor answered the question, which was NONE! *Sigh!* I knew I should have made a bet for a pair of shoes on that one!

I left the office that day not feeling crazy, but reassured that what I was doing was correct. I was doubting the extent to what I was doing the diet was not necessary, and that I didn't have to pour so much energy into it. But after seeing the Dr. B. that day and coming back with more of an understanding of what the heck I was doing, I left feeling, I was on the right road!

After the "Check Up" visit was when I started the blog. I was dying to document stuff but I didn't know if what I was doing was all that important or necessary for Zak's health. Come to find out, it is important and it is making a difference with his health and that is note worthy!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Adventure of Eating Out!

Two weeks into being WF/GF we went out to the lake for a week. Usually we just throw a bunch of food into a plastic tub, run to the corner meat market and stock up on hamburgers and dogs for the time out there. This time I had to plan meals so Zakkery had something that he could eat. I had great intentions of cooking dinners each night along with breakfast and lunch. Most of the time out our meals consisted of grazing the kitchen.

One night we had gone into town and Rich mentioned going out to eat. Fear came over me, not knowing what this would look like. Would he throw a fit like a 2 year old because he can't have the normal food? Rich suggested Wendy's. I kind of chuckled and told him to plan on buying a dozen hamburger patties for Zak to haul down. Without the bun, he could chow down a lot. Instead we decided on "The Ground Round". There I knew he could get a decent size burger or steak and survive. He was disappointed that he couldn't have the pizza, and his brother could. He was disappointed that he had to get the hamburger and there wasn't much of another option. We did allow him to have the fries. Which I now know fries are off limits because they fried in oil that has wheat in it or fried in a fryer that fried something that has wheat on it, like fried chicken for example.

I have read in several books and websites and have been told by friends to be upfront with the waitress/waiter at the restaurants. When we adventured into "The Ground Round", I asked the waitress if they had a WF/GF menu, which they did not have. I told her that Zak was WF/GF and couldn't have wheat. She said, "Oh, well he can have the pasta and the pizza and the burger and the..." I explained to her that he couldn't have that because of the wheat. I asked her to ask the chef if he had recommendations or knew anything. She checked and he did not know anything! So I was on my own with my itty bitty bit of information. We survived and Zak ate his burger without a bun and hauled down the fries that most likely had wheat on them!

Our second adventure was to "Outback" for Jeremiah's birthday dinner on July 8th. I heard from friends that "Outback" has a WF/GF menu, so I looked on line and read the menu. Yeah for Zak they even had dessert, a flourless brownie with ice cream and the works. I figured if nothing else, he would be thrilled to have dessert. But I digressed knowing this would not be beneficial to his new diet. So throughout that day I made an attempt to make him his own homemade hamburger bun from a WF/GF bread mix. I placed it in the tuna can to get the right size and all. It baked, it cooled, it came out of the can ...... hollow! That's right, there wasn't a bottom in it and it tasted nasty to top it off. I packed up the kids and made an emergency run to a new store in Novi to try their hamburger buns. They toasted them for us and Zak liked the taste and thought it would do for dinner tonight. The Outback site was where I found out that the fries are cooked in wheat oil, so I made my own fries, deep fried them, placed them in the foil and placed them in the oven to keep warm.

We arrived at Outback, me with Zak's thermal lunch bag in hand with half his dinner enclosed in it. Going out to eat isn't all that easy anymore. Thankfully, Outback is fairly dark so nobody paid much attention to my thermal bag with half a dinner inside! I knew Zak's dinner came with mashed potatoes which I gladly took. I brought out Zak's bun and fries. He was thrilled! He was even more thrilled to find out that dessert awaited him at the end of his meal. Just because he wasn't thrilled over his hamburger bun, I still told him that he had to eat it before getting the dessert. He obliged! I am sure when the plates went back to the kitchen they wondered where that batch of fries came from. They surely didn't look like theirs!

Monday, July 13, 2009

A 3 Week Diet???

The 1st week of being WF/GF was going well. Zakkery was enjoying his new expensive snacks and I was busy filling my pantry to have on hand. I was also making up batches of WF/GF brownies as "special treats" for during these dog days of summer. While working on getting the essentials for filling the pantry, I spend approx. $14 on 2 very small loaves of bread. They left much to be desired, that is for sure. Zak didn't like it and I couldn't blame him because you couldn't pay me to choke down a morsel of it. So onward we marched and I could not throw those loaves of bread out and chalk it up as a flop. So I googled (I am the google queen) WF/GF french toast. I didn't know a recipe would be different and I wanted to be safe. I had $14 dollars on the line and couldn't afford to trash it. I found a great recipe on In addition to the normal ingredients for french toast it used rice milk (or soy or almond milk). I had rice milk on hand. I do a lot of baking with that since going WF/GF. It also included orange juice, honey, nutmeg and vanilla. It was a huge hit for the boys! After it was approved by the tasting board, I made the rest into french toast and then froze it all. Pop it in the toaster when ready to eat!

On Father's Day, we were visiting Rich's parents and I was telling them a bit about what we had found out. I was telling them about the WF/GF diet and Zakkery chimed in and said that it was only for 3 weeks. Instead of addressing the issue there, I decided I would discuss it at home with him. I knew the subject of "Never being able to eat pizza, donut and bagels etc." wasn't going to be a huge hit with him and may involve emotions, so I saved it. I really had to prepare myself anyway for discussing this with him in a positive way.

Heading into the 2nd week was tough because he was realizing that a lot of his favorite things were forever gone, or thus it seemed to a 9 year old. He had a couple of break downs at breakfast during this week. He would holler, "I can't believe I can't eat wheat anymore!" How many kids do you hear hollering that! I had to stay calm as I frantically looked for some more options. By this time, he had tried the bagels, which were a huge flop! You couldn't put enough cream cheese on the sucker to save your life! He had also tried another brand of waffles and they didn't taste like the Trader Joe waffles. That's when I started using the waffle mixes that I had bought to fill the pantry. Score! He was happy and they tasted great! We survived breakfast.

After he calmed down and had a full belly, I started talking to him about this being a change that will last a long time. I explained all the positive things that I have seen change in him since being off the wheat. I also had him tell me how he felt too. I also explained that I am learning about this right now and that if something taste very repulsive, we will find something new. I have found donuts! Score! When my child's health and well being and LD are all at the forefront and I CAN find results through diet change, I will fight to make it work. I literally take one meal at a time right now. I get too overwhelmed if I think too far ahead. I am the one responsible for making this work and I have to stay calm and not panic. I will not give up on him because it involves A LOT of reading and because it's just plain hard to change your child's diet. He will survive if I stay calm and have a positive attitude. Dr. B. has given me several tools to use to help him. It's my job to put those tools to use!

During the 2nd week is when I got the books, "Gluten Free for Dummies" and "Gluten Free Shopping Guide". I made a small trip to Meijers that weekend. I used my book and found normal foods that are WF/GF. Here are some samples. Taco shells and taco mix for the beef. Certains brands are WF/GF, others are not! Syrup, was another product. The kind I was using was not WF/GF so I had to change brands. To Zak, those are "normal" foods and I point that out to him. When we are having tacos. I tell him, these are WF/GF and you can eat them. And that is satisfying for him to know that his favorite meals are still available for him to eat!